A draft of Chapter 2 for you to look at...
'I am here at the gate, alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
and the musk of the roses blown'Tennyson- Maud
THE SCENT filled GiGi's nostrils once more- and looking around at the many rose bushes, it now made some sense to attribute it as a musk. Yes, thought GiGi, a musk from the roses. But, surely there weren't so many roses usually? Again, she was unable to remember what things were like usually- or to begin to think about what 'usual' might be. It was as though if she had a thought that tried to remember, those thoughts were like a slippery fishes that jumped out of her brain, and straight through her fingers as she tried to catch them.
"Perhaps I should see the garden better" said GiGi to herself, "If I could get to the top of the Down, and- here's the path that leads straight to it- at least, no, it doesn't do that-" (after a few hundred yards down the path, and turning several sharp corners.) "Well, this turn must go to the Down I suppose- No! It doesn't- this goes straight back to the house. Well then, I shall try the other way." And so she did, wandering up and down, and trying turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do whatever she would.
"It's no use talking about it," GiGi said, looking up at the house, and pretending it was arguing with her. 'I'm not going in again yet. Yes I know I should be straight in to the Bored Meeting, but that would put an end to all these misadventures!"
There was nothing to be done but start again- and there was the Down in full sight, and almost at once she came upon a large flower bed, filled it seemed with a border of daisies, and a tall Lily swaying gracefully in the breeze.
The Lily smiled and waved to her whilst continuing some work. She seemed to be putting all the daisies into little pots which were set up on tables- at least that's the best way GiGi could describe it- as she had by now ceased to try to make usual sense out of her thoughts. At which moment, a 'slippery-fish thought' regarding a black cat refused to be caught, and was interrupted by a voice as gentle as a whisper...
"Have you seen her?" It was the lovely Lily, turning to GiGi as she plucked and arranged the little daisies who seemed to chatter incessantly as she worked. "I rather think you have. She's up there again in the clouds, and she doesn't look well at all, poor dear. She is positively ghostly and pale and white. We all said so, didn't we girls?" Lily pointed to the sky back down the lane, and GiGi watched as the roses became girls- dancing up the lane, giggling and squabbling as they advanced. As she stood there, they circled her, but paid her no attention. GiGi tried to hear what was being said, it was all incomprehensible at first as they fluttered around her in their airy dresses, the breeze catching long floating hair, and skipping feet swirled around her. Presently she began to decipher some words from the giggling, bickering chatter.
"In my opinion, you never think at all!" said one Rose in a very severe tone.
" I never saw anyone that looked stupider" responded another.
GiGi decided there wasn't anything to be gained by listening to this, and turned back to Lily who was still waiting patiently for a response.
"Over there-up there- in the air- or at the gate, someone once said that they saw her there. We knew her once, we did you know! It was the exercise what did it, so now she's up there, and trying to get back in- poor thing!" Lily's voice trailed away, as the dancing roses surrounded them both and the chatter and giggling overcame the gentle tinkling voice. The rosebud girls all pointed with Lily, and the dancing circle then broke up and scattered across the Down, and GiGi looked at where Lily and the Roses had pointed to.
Above a large tree, the sky was returning the sunset. In the lilacs, mauves, pinks and blues, the clouds were transparent- and seemed to make pictures. GiGi made out a figure. She recognised it as a glimpse she had thought she had seen earlier. The woman was transparent,and dressed in white. GiGi was struck by her eyes, GiGi somehow felt they were friends, and had the strong impression that the woman needed something from her.
In the next instant, it seemed she had disappeared. The tree and the sky and the house lay in front of her, and some kind of wilderness behind.
She started to wonder about the Cat's whereabouts...
Sleep tight my lovely,
Your ever-loving Grandmother, GiGi xxx